The natural and cultural patrimony of the Albanian Alps is among the richest and most varied in Europe. The Balkan Alps are home to a very diversified flora and fauna, which are the main resources that need to be preserved in the region. Yet the populations of these areas are badly affected by poverty, and the exploitation of these natural resources – for both agriculture and gathering – is one of the main means to earn an income.
Official quality marks, in particular the Geographical Indications and organic farming, improve product prices and added value for producers, while promoting biodiversity conservation, by introducing this theme into product specifications. A “sustainable” development of natural resources is also conducive to the development of other sectors such as agrotourism.
The project is based on 5 thematic components, directly related to the 5 specific objectives of the project:
- Inventory of “typical” products from Albania’s biodiversity and sector studies.
- Institutional and regulatory framework for the promotion of food products (Geographical Indication, Organic label, collective marks).
- Development of quality marks for 3 sectors produced in the north region.
- Agrosystem approach, heritage preservation and pilot biodiversity conservation actions.
- Regional actions.
The contracting authority is MADA, an Albanian foundation which the Government has entrusted with the mandate of implementing rural development projects in the mountains. The project management is handled by MADA, CIHEAM / with IAM being the associate project manager.
- Local, economic and social development in the Balkan mountains. The focus is on experiments and capitalization on new approaches to develop natural resources, allowing economic actors to obtain better prices for their products (improve quality, drying and collection, seek new markets, develop product processing).
- Preservation of the global environment. The project is located in an area with particularly abundant biodiversity, where the environment is threatened. Due to the isolation of the region in recent history, the Balkan mountains constitute a reservoir of primary and secondary biodiversity. The poverty of communities contributes to the overexploitation of resources, which is reduced by the project.
on the same region